Pedro Acosta used every millimetre to win the opening race of the 2020 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season. The 16-year-old Spaniard fought to hold his KTM RC 250 R on track ahead of fellow countrymen David Muñoz and Daniel Holgado.
It was an incredible 17 laps and for many of them, the leading 15 all looked possible winners. Acosta got in front several times but could never get clear away. It all came down to the final two corners of the Red Bull Ring and last year's Race 1 winner Acosta knew what he had to do.
He managed the last lap perfectly and a ten-man lead battle became just 3 with a chance of victory. He held the tiniest advantage over Muñoz, with Holgado hoping they would make a mistake. It almost happened but at the last corner Acosta wrestled his bike off the green and stayed in front of Muñoz.
"It was an incredible race," beamed Acosta. "I was so thrilled to feel how much better the bike was than in Qualifying, the guys did a brilliant job. I must say I was worried before the race when we couldn't get the bike started, that was tense but my mechanic got it going and it was fantastic."
I enjoyed the race so much, a great pleasure after the frustrations of yesterday," added Acosta who had qualified third fastest.
Newbies on the podium
14-year-old David Muñoz and 15-year-old Daniel Holgado started their Rookies careers in fine style with 2nd and 3rd.
"It was an incredibly exciting race," gasped Muñoz. "It was so much fun, the bike was great and I pushed so hard. I just couldn't pass Pedro at the last corner even though I was right there. I don't want to make predictions about tomorrow but sure I'm going to try."
"The bike was good, I'm very happy," enthused Holgado. "I almost crashed at the end and lost time to the front but managed to fight back to take third so I am very happy with that. The bike is working well so we don't need to change anything for tomorrow."
From his front row starting position David Alonso, the 14-year-old Colombian was in the battle for the lead all the way. "I am very happy with 4th place in my first race. It is very different to the races I am used to, everyone on the same bike and so close all the way, very intense."
"I was learning every lap, I almost crashed but I saved it and I know I finished the race with a lot more experience," he added enthusiastically.
Salvador needs more
"It's OK," explained 16-year-old Spaniard David Salvador. "My tactics at the end weren't good and I had to battle just to get 5th. Still, the bike is good and I can do better tomorrow," stated the winner of last year's end of season race in Aragon.